TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Pat Maroon scored twice in the third period, Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the slumping Washington Capitals 5-1 on Thursday night.
Stamkos assisted on Alex Killorn’s goal midway through the opening period, then scored his 32nd of the season with 2.8 seconds left to put Tampa Bay up by two.
Maroon, who entered the game with three goals this season, scored early in the third period to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead, then put the game away with his second with 3:32 to go. Erik Cernak added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 1:54 remaining.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves for the Lightning, who’ve won back-to-back games after losing four in a row.
Craig Smith scored and Darcy Kuemper, playing for the second straight night, made 29 saves for the Capitals. They are 1-4-2 in their past seven games and fell seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring 9:20 into the first period when Killorn tipped Mikhail Sergachev’s power-play wrist shot from the left point past Kuemper. Stamkos put the Lightning up 2-0 by beating Kuemper with a one-timer after a faceoff win by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
The Capitals picked up their play in the second period and got on the board with 3:50 left when Smith picked up a missed shot off the end boards and backhanded it off Vasilevskiy’s left skate and over the goal line.
Maroon tapped in the rebound of Anthony Cirelli’s shot 4:30 into the third period to restore the Lightning’s two-goal lead, then banged home another rebound off Cirelli’s shot.
Capitals forward T.J. Oshie left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return.
Washington: Host New York Rangers on Sunday.
Lightning: Host New York Islanders on Saturday night.